Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital

22 COVID-19 patients in COVID-19 ward are not serious and manageable: JDWNRH

Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) has admitted 22 COVID-19 patients in the isolation ward as of 8th January. There are 3 children and 3 patients who are above 60 years of age. Currently there are no patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and also no patient on oxygen. At present all patients are not serious and manageable.

Medical Superintendent of JDWNRH Dr Gosar Pemba said all patients are examined by the doctor and base line investigation is done. As per the investigation patients are provided medicines.

“The hospital manages small children in the same way we manage other patients. The children are with their mother which makes it easier for us to manage and feed them as well as taking care of the child. We provide a diet which the children like, like a soft diet, soup, and others. We also provide diapers and other things that the mother requires to take care of the child,” said Dr Gosar.

JDWNRH had several plans like Plan A, Plan B and Plan C, if positive cases keep coming in. Dr Gosar said Plan A was to manage the positive cases in the isolation wards. Then they had plan B where another ward was set up if more patients came to JDWNRH with about 35 beds.

Plan C was to admit all the positive patients to the isolation ward and do baseline line investigation and those patients who have no symptoms, no comorbid diseases and are young healthy patients are to be shifted to hotel isolation under observation of health staff. So now the hospital is in plan C and many of the patients are in hotel isolation.

Dr Gosar said the hospital is trying their best to keep JDWNRH free from COVID-19 as JDWNRH is the only tertiary hospital in the country. If one positive case is detected in the hospital, then the hospital will have to close down.

“In such a situation where will the patients go or where can the patients be shifted to. There are no other hospitals where patients can be shifted to. That is why the hospital is very strict in allowing attendants and visitors into the hospital,” said Dr Gosar.

He said many people complain that it is harassment but looking at the bigger picture and for the safety of the citizens certain rules and regulations must be put in place to safeguard the hospital so that the services in this hospital are not compromised.

“Imagine a situation where JDWNRH is closed due to an outbreak of COVID in the hospital, where will the patients referred from the district go to, what will happen to the seriously ill patients who need operation or where will ICU care go to? So people must take into consideration all these concerns and follow the rules and regulations of the hospital and not one’s own convenience,” said Dr Gosar.

The hospital will test all patients and attendants before admission to the hospital. Only one attendant will be allowed and there will be no change of attendant till the patient is discharged except in a few circumstances. No visitors are allowed at any time. No food will be allowed from outside and patients and attendants will be provided food from the hospital. Patients and attendants cannot leave the hospital at any time. Patient and attendant in one ward are not allowed to go to another ward.

All health staff working in the hospital will do a 12-hour shift duty for 14 days and staff are kept in facility quarantine which means that they cannot go home. All staff are tested for COVID when they come for their duty for 14 days and are tested after completing 14 day duty in the hospital.

The next shift will be tested and take over the duty in the hospital. Only the minimum required staff are deployed for duty to prevent many staff from going for quarantine in case of a positive case being detected in the hospital. These are some of the protocols which they have been instituted in the hospital to prevent any outbreak in the hospital.

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